Anna Maria Torlontano – Tributes from Gianarrigo Rona and José Damiani
From Gianarrigo Rona, President, World Bridge Federation:
Anna Maria Torlontano passed away. Today is a very sad day for the entire bridge community that loses one of most important personalities of the last forty years of its history. Anna Maria was the soul of women’s bridge, of its development and its affirmation everywhere in the world. Her enthusiasm, passion, dedication, dynamism professionalism and competence entranced everyone – not only those who had the privilege of working and cooperating with her but also those who had just the occasion, the opportunity to meet her.
Not everyone would have the possibility to leave such an afterglow of her passage, but for sure Anna Maria did.
For me Anna Maria was more than a sister. Working with her since the beginning of the seventies, I had the opportunity to learn and to grow, to enrich my knowledge and my experience.
We lived together a marvelous unforgettable adventure within our beloved bridge world. Thousand of images run one after the other in my mind, reflect themselves in my heart and will accompany me for my life.
Ciao Anna Maria, have a good trip accompanied by our love.
3rd November 2016
From José Damiani, President Emeritus, World Bridge Federation
Letter sent to Jenny Pacini, Anna Maria’s granddaughter:
I am sending you this a little late as I have been in China since 28th October and only returned yesterday, which is why I was unable to attend the funeral, for which I apologize.
Anna Maria was more than a friend, we became very close over more than 30 years as she was at my side at the beginning of my European presidency, when I made her responsible for women’s bridge. She then accompanied me throughout all my world presidency when I always supported her in her initiatives and where she was able to express all her talent, her dynamism and to give women the place that they deserved. She had so much charm that I do not believe I would have been able to refuse her anything even if, occasionally, I was led to adjust her propositions.
Our relations were based on great mutual confidence with the same avowed aim, to succeed in the promotion of bridge.
From where, in her own domain, came important innovations, the jamborees, the simultaneous events, the activities in each zone, etc.
At the same time, everyone will remember her position as head of protocol and as Master of Ceremonies: “I am Anna Maria Torlontano ….” where she often brought prestige with a smile, and from time to time a little tension.
She has left us with the heritage of the WBF anthem, inspired by “à l’Alba Vincero” from Puccini’s Turendot that she had reworked by one of her friends.
She well knew that if, perchance, we should forget her, we would remember her every time that we played the anthem, as if she was giving us news from the other side.
Do not worry, Anna Maria, you are always in our minds and our hearts. And if I am happy to have been able to award you the pin of the Committee of Honour, which brought us closer together if that were needed, it was for the wonderful job that you did.
With my deepest sympathy, please share my sincere condolences with all your family.
11th November 2016